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  • Writer's pictureGREEN Hospitality

Fighting Food Waste in Hong Kong, One Bite at a Time: Food Waste to Good Taste Campaign

Food waste is an enormous yet overlooked problem globally. According to the United Nations Environment Programme’s Food Waste Index Report 2024, nearly one third of all food produced worldwide is wasted. Here in Hong Kong, the average restaurant throws away 778 tonnes of food per day, totaling over 280,000 tonnes yearly. This wastage harms the environment, wastes money, and squanders precious nutrients.

But an innovative local initiative called “Food Waste to Good Taste” aims to tackle this issue head-on. Launched by The University of Hong Kong’s School of Biological Science and supported by GREEN Hospitality and CHOMP, the project audits restaurants' trash to quantify and address their food waste. The team is also hosting free workshops from April-May 2024 to teach eateries how to reduce and repurpose their food scraps. 

Long committed to helping the hospitality industry in Hong Kong to advance its sustainability endeavours, GREEN Hospitality's Executive Director, Lucia Loposova, expressed the urgency of curbing food waste in Hong Kong: “The Hong Kong government’s Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) charging scheme, expected to come into effect on 1 August 2024, makes this a pivotal moment. Businesses must adapt quickly to meet targets for waste diversion from landfills, and tackling food waste is one of the most impactful steps.”

The good news is that small operational changes can lead to significant waste reduction, saving restaurants money along the way. But F&B and hospitality practitioners need the know-how to effectively implement them. That's where the Food Waste to Good Taste workshops add value. The six-hour training programme is designed to educate and train participants on waste reduction methods through menu planning, portion control, and scrap upcycling.  

Food waste is a complex issue with many causes, from improper storage to unnecessarily large portions and a lack of recycling facilities. Some major sources of waste in Hong Kong restaurants include:
Leftover ingredients from food preparation
Buffet leftovers
Expired or spoiled ingredients
Over-ordering of perishable goods
Plate waste from customers

The environmental impact of food waste is massive. Organic trash like food scraps makes up over 30% of Hong Kong's landfill waste. As food waste rots, it releases methane, a greenhouse gas 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide considering its much shorter atmospheric lifespan. Moreover, food waste also represents a waste of the energy and water used to grow, process, and transport the food.

Socially, food waste highlights inequitable access to nutritious food: as 3,300 tonnes of food is landfilled daily (30% of the city’s MSW), 1.5 million Hongkongers are suffering from food insecurity. We urge you to take a moment to imagine the positive impact we can create simply by saving food waste and using it to feed those in need.

Join us for an impactful six-hour training workshop to equip yourself with strategies and solutions to reduce food waste in your restaurant or hotel. You'll learn practical tools to quantify, track, and audit your food scraps. We'll also provide tailored guidance to implement waste reduction initiatives that are suitable for the context of your business. If you are an F&B professional interested in gaining the knowledge, skills, and mindset to reduce food waste and contribute to the sustainability of Hong Kong, please register for the hands-on workshops here. And learn more about the groundbreaking Food Waste to Good Taste initiative on GREEN Hospitality's website here.

With creativity and commitment, Hong Kong's hospitality and F&B sector can turn food waste into good taste. Let's work together to make a more sustainable food system.


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